China's foreign policy has a character that does not compromise certain principles. The most important one of those principles is "non-interference to the internal affairs of the other countries".

In the Middle East, China prefers an approach that does not interfere with the domestic affairs of countries and avoids regional security problems.

But at the same time, it can establish diplomatic and commercial relations with countries that have problems with each other such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

We even see that these relations sometimes have military dimensions.

In 2019, China, along with Iran, was conducting multilateral exercises in the Gulf of Oman, in which Russia participated. On the other hand, China has made a promise to Saudi Arabia for a "factory to produce armed unmanned aerial vehicles". Although the US has seriously suppressed these relations with Israel, China has military relations with Israel at various levels.

So how does China do this? How can China powerfully diffused to the Middle East, which many countries have difficulty entering due to ideological and political reasons?

China achieves this with a "friendly with everyone but allied with no one" approach.

In other respects, there is an interesting balance in these relationships. For example, the general perception is that China and Iran have extremely deep-rooted and intense relations. However, the facts are not like that. In terms of both direct investments and trade volume of China, it has a more intense relationship with countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE compared to Iran.

Iran's relations with China, which have faced major economic and social problems after the Trump administration's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement (JCPOA), have continued to decline since then. While Saudi Arabia is at the top of the list of the countries from which China imports the most oil, it is noteworthy that the oil purchased from Iran fell to "zero" last July.

On the other hand, a document circulated on social media last June emphasized that a 400 billion dollars deal was made between China and Iran. However, the document in question has not yet been officially accepted by either state.

The document in question is similar to the Comprehensive Partnership Agreement signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Iran in 2016. The reason for its recirculation during this period indicates that Iran was very stuck economically and socially and it wanted a new and more intense economic model with China.

In some speculative comments about the document circulated on social media, China will send 5000 security guards to Iran, establish a monitoring base in Chabar city, etc. Such claims are neither accepted nor proven.

These allegations are not found in the document already leaked to the press. However, it is possible to say that the two sides are still negotiating a comprehensive partnership. But it is very difficult to say the same about the part reflected in the press.

If we take into account all of these, it is possible to say that China-Iran relations may deepen in the coming period. Although we do not have enough data, it can be argued that a more conservative government may come to the fore in Iran in the coming period and that this political wing may develop close relations with China.

The Iranian regime, besieged and stuck by the international system, does not have much of an option nowadays, as the international system is getting more and more ambiguity.

While China continues to develop intensive relations with Russia on a global scale, it does not want to lose Iran, which is a node in terms of Belt and Road. Although the findings do not appear fruitful, the Chinese leadership has a "determined and consistent" discourse about Iran.

In the USA, if Biden wins the elections and the JCPOA (Comprehensive Joint Action Plan), which was signed after intense negotiations in 2015, comes back to the agenda, it seems that Iran will seize this opportunity.

However, the answer to the question of whether the Biden administration will accept the agreement as in 2015 is difficult.

The Biden administration will probably revise the deal again to push Iran a little more, and this time it will not be a surprise that China-Iran relations are also involved in the deal.

Note:This article has been previously published in Turkish on this blog.